Like many people, a week ago I was feeling pretty down about the state of racial justice and just basic humanity in the United States. But then something happened.
In response to the hate and violence displayed in Charlottesville, hundreds of Durhamites came together for a huge vigil on Sunday night. Many friends of mine posted pictures and powerful testimonials to the collective love they felt gathered together.
But I also noticed that some activists had less satisfied responses, including frustration that the mostly-white event marginalized voices of color and those with more radical tactics. Much of that frustration fed into the Monday demonstration, which had already been planned to take place in front of Durham’s old courthouse, where there was a confederate monument with an inscription to “the boys who wore gray.”
Many times I have passed that statue and wondered what on earth it was doing there. Until last year, I really didn’t realize how pervasive these were and what drove their creation.
Continue reading "What happened in Durham"
Autocracy: Rules for Survival by Masha Gessen is an absolute must-read. I’ve been coming back to it every few weeks to regain my bearing.
In the face of the impulse to normalize, it is essential to maintain one’s capacity for shock. This will lead people to call you unreasonable and hysterical, and to accuse you of overreacting. It is no fun to be the only hysterical person in the room. Prepare yourself.
Continue reading "Remember the future"
The FCC is about to vote to end net neutrality—breaking the fundamental principle of the open Internet. I’m supporting an effort to create an avalanche of calls to Congress to stop it.
Net neutrality affects everyone who uses the Internet. This is for all of us.
Continue reading "Stop the FCC and save Net Neutrality!"
I will say it again: please stop thinking everything will work out in the end. The only way that happens is if massive numbers of Americans rise up and do not allow business as usual to continue. It’s on US. The institutions that got us to this moment are not going to suddenly fix it. …
Continue reading "Less faith, more action"
In addition to the many reasons that people need unfettered access to the Internet without megacorporations deciding which content to privilege, I can’t imagine the United States having anything resembling free and fair elections without net neutrality. The New York Times today: “The Federal Communications Commission announced on Tuesday that it planned to dismantle landmark …
Continue reading "Net neutrality is not optional"
“We see that the men who have had the power to abuse women’s bodies and psyches throughout their careers are in many cases also the ones in charge of our political and cultural stories.” And “We cannot retroactively resituate the women who left jobs, who left their whole careers because the navigation of the risks, …
Continue reading "We’re soaking in it"
A funny thing happened yesterday. I decided to block the president on Twitter because I’m sick of his toxic idiocy and narcissism. When you block someone, they ask you the reason. Are they harassing you or someone else, are they spamming, is the account hacked, etc. Since All of the above was not an option, I chose to report him as hacked since I’ve been reading a lot about Russia’s hacking of our democracy and what an effective tool he is for Putin.
About 30 minutes later, his account was actually deactivated!
Continue reading "Did I do that?"
Haven’t processed all of this yet, but this is a great exploration of antifa from a Buddhist perspective. Please read if like me you are troubled by both violence and nazis. Buddhists and the Bloc: An Open Thread On Antifa On perceptions: I also want to think about this on a “Buddhist” level. What do …
Continue reading "Can you be Buddhist and antifa at the same time?"
From visiting the wonderful Dutch Resistance Museum many years ago, I knew about the “Judenrat,” councils of Jewish leaders that Nazis used to facilitate the implementation of their own annihilation. Although I’m Jewish and believe it’s important to remember the Holocaust, I never really spent that much time learning the political history. I foolishly thought that “never …
Continue reading "The price of collaboration"
I graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1993. Even then we questioned why any soldier, not to mention one abstracted from a war that divided the country in an effort to preserve the horrible institution of slavery, should be in such a position of honor for all to see. The purpose of Confederate …
Continue reading "Silent Sam must go"
I’ve been enjoying this excellent UNC History site with an interactive timeline of the successful student activism that led to the creation of the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History that we know and love today. Don’t let Carol Folt or anyone else tell you activism is anathema to The University of …
Continue reading "Student activism is UNC"